LETTER: Now is the time to lift the Bosnian embargo

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The Independent Online
From Mr John Pedler

Sir: Britain and France have opposed lifting the arms embargo on Bosnia- Herzegovina in order to avoid just such Bosnian Serb reprisals as we witness now (" 'Stop the bombing or we'll die' ", 27 May).

So, the UN Security Council should give the Bosnian Serbs an ultimatum: "Release the hostages, or we'll lift the embargo."

Defiance of the world is the Bosnian Serb leadership's last ace. If the world blinks, they might yet win. But (as I can confirm from a short time in Bosnia Serb hands recently) their morale is bad; they know they have been led to poverty and universal opprobrium for a receding mirage of Greater Serbia.

In the field they face now not Unprofor, but trained, high-morale Bosnian and Croatian armies, both of which have had recent successes against them. But devastated Bosnia-Herzegovina is hobbled by lack of financial support as much as by lack of weapons: if the Bosnian Serbs knew that, should they fail to comply with UN demands, this double injustice would be righted, they would be under real pressure to accept the Contact Group Plan.

Yours sincerely,

JOHN PEDLER

John Pedler Associates

Diplomatic Consultants

Opatija, Croatia

28 May

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